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Thursday, July 21, 2005

Dennis Redmond, "Taking Games Seriously"

Dennis Redmond, "Taking Games Seriously"

"Why should self-identified progressives and activists care about videogames? After all, don't we have more important things to do -- like stopping the Terror War, organizing unions, and constructing Left parties? Aren't videogames just a frivolous luxury of First World consumers?

Not so. Adorno noted long ago that the line between progress and regress becomes blurred during periods of historical reaction. At such moments, what is truly progressive is scorned as obsolete, unrealistic, or foolishly utopian, while what is reactionary is praised as revolutionary, pragmatic, and state-of-the-art.

The videogame culture is a case in point. The Right has long castigated videogames as a mortal threat to public decency. All too many Leftists unthinkingly echo this critique, dismissing videogames as engines of militarism and xenophobia. Yet the videogame culture does not belong to military planners, Hollywood executives or elite programmers. It is a hugely diverse and dizzyingly complex field, where the burning issues of the multinational media culture, multinational ideology, the open source software revolution, US neoliberalism, EU integration, and the East Asian developmental state all converge." [more]

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